What follows are the beliefs and creed of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah concerning the third pillar of Imaan – Belief in the Books, taken from The Tenets of Faith by Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaimeen (d. 1421H, rahimahullah).
- We believe that Allaah the Exalted revealed Books to His Messengers as a proof upon mankind and as a directive to the workers of good; by it they are taught wisdom and are purified.
- We believe that Allaah the Exalted sent down with every Messenger a Book (kitaab). He the Exalted said:“Indeed We sent Our Messengers with the clear signs and We sent down with them the Book and the Balance so that people may uphold justice.” [Soorah al-Hadeed 57:25]
- From these Books, we know of:
1. The Torah (tawraat) which Allaah revealed to Moses ‘alayhis-salaam; it was the greatest Book to be revealed to the Children of Israa’eel:“In it was guidance and light which the Prophets who submitted themselves to Allaah, judged the jews with; as did the rabbis and the priests. To them was entrusted the preservation of the Book, and they were witnesses to it.” [Soorah al-Maa’idah 5:44]
2. The Gospel (injeel) which Allaah the Exalted revealed to Jesus ‘alayhissalaam; it was a confirmation of the Torah and a complement to it:“And We gave him the Gospel in which there was guidance and light; confirming the Torah that had come before it; a guidance and an admonition for the God-fearing.” [al-Maa’idah 5:46]“And to make lawful to you [i.e. the jews] certain things that were previously forbidden to you.” [Soorah Aal-‘Imraan 3:50]
3. The Psalms (zaboor) which Allaah the Exalted gave to David ‘alayhissalaam.
4. The Scriptures (suhoof) of Abraham and Moses, peace be upon them both.
5. The Glorious Qur’aan which Allaah revealed to His Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; the last of the Prophets. It is:
“A guidance to the people and a clear sign for the guidance, and a criterion between right and wrong.” [al-Baqarah 2:185]
- The Qur’aan:”Confirms the Books that were before it and stands as a judge (ar. muhaymin) over them.” [Soorah al-Maa’idah 5:48].1
- Through it Allaah abrogated all the previously Revealed Books and has guaranteed that He will protect it from any tampering or distortion:“Indeed it is We who sent down the Message and indeed We shall safeguard it.” [Soorah al-Hijr 15:9]
[THE PREVIOUS BOOKS HAVE BEEN ALTERED AND CHANGED]
- As for the previous Books, they were only meant for a limited period of time which ceased with the revelation of that which abrogated it and which explained what it contained of distortions and alterations. This is why they were not protected from corruption and underwent distortions, additions and deletions:“Amongst those who are Jews, there are some who distort words from their correct place.” [Soorah an-Nisaa 4:46]“So woe to those who write the Book with their own hands and then say: ‘This is from Allaah,’ in order that they may sell it for a miserable price. So woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for their earnings.” [al-Baqarah 2:79]“Say: Who then sent down the book that Moses brought; a light and a guidance to mankind, which you [i.e. the jews] have made into separate sheets, disclosing parts of it but concealing much of it.” [Soorah al-An’aam 6:91]“Indeed, amongst them is a party that distort the Book with their tongues as they read it, so that you may think that it is part of the Book whereas it is not from the Book. And they say: ‘This is from Allaah,’ but it is not from Allaah; and they forge a lie against Allaah knowingly.” [Soorah Aal-‘Imraan 3:78-79]“O people of the Book! Now there has come to you Our Messenger; explaining to you much of that which you used to conceal of the Book and overlooking much. Indeed there has come to you a light (ar. noor)2 from Allaah and a perspicuous Book, with which Allaah guides those who who seek His good pleasure to ways of peace; bringing them out of darkness into the light, by His permission, and guiding them to a straight path.” [Soorah al-Maa’idah 5:15-16]
1. The Shaykh, hafidhahullaah, said in Majmoo’ Fataawaa wa Rasaa’il (5/120):
“The meaning is that it is a judge over them. Consequently, it is not permitted to act upon any ruling contained in the previous Books, except what is correct from them and is approved of by the Qur’aan.”
Also consult: Tafseer Qur’aanul-‘Adheem (1/68) of Ibn Katheer.
2. Imaam at-Tabaree rahimahullaah, states in his Tafseer (6/161), whilst discussing the intended meaning of Allaah’s statement:
“Indeed, there has come to you a light from Allaah.”
“By light Allaah means Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, through whom Allaah illuminated the truth, manifested Islaam and effaced polytheism (shirk). So he is a light for whoever seeks illumination from him, by which the truth is made evident. From his illuminating the truth is his clarifying to the Jews a great deal of what they used to hide in the Book.”
Point to Note: That the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is a guiding ‘light’ in no way entails that he possesses qualities of Divinity, or contradicts the fact that he is a human being; as is discussed later (p.44).
As for the hadeeth which allegedly states that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – on being asked as to what was the first thing created – said: “The light of your Prophet, O Jaabir! Allaah created it and then created everything else…” This report is a fabrication. Indeed, haafidh as-Suyootee, rahimahullaah, stated in al-Haawee lil-Fataawee (1/500): “It has no chain which establishes it at all!”